Introduction: Quick Dog Crate Water Bucket
When you need to keep a dog in a crate for extended periods, it may be desirable to provide a source of water. This need may be accomplished in a variety of ways. People that go to dog shows often use a nifty stainless steel bucket that hangs inside the crate to prevent spills. These buckets even have a flat side to hang flush against the inside of the crate.
However, these kinds of buckets are not cheap, may not be readily available in your area, or you may need several all at once. I was confronted with such a situation when we were suddenly faced with the need to house five foster dogs at the same time. I had one crate bucket. I improvised the following substitute from what I had lying about.
Punch or large nail
Tin can: size proportional to dog
Heavy copper wire, ~1 foot
Carabiner or snap
Step 1: Punch Can
First you need to find a can that is appropriately sized to the dog, or rather, the dog's muzzle. I found a can of soup in the pantry that was just right. I ate the soup, rinsed out the can and removed the label. I placed the can over a vice open about half an inch and made a hole in the side of the can near the rim using a hammer and punch. I turned the can over and repeated the procedure. I held the hole over the solid part of the vice and hammered down the metal burrs around the hole. I felt around the hole with my fingertips and used the needlenose pliers to flatten any remaining burrs. I repeated this for the other side, of course.
Step 2: Fit Wire and Snap
I stripped a piece of household copper wire, approximately 14-ga and 12-inches long, that I pulled out of my scrap bin. Actually, if you pull the middle wire (ground), it's not insulated and you don't have to strip it. I stuck an end through the inside of a hole in the can and, using needlenose pliers, bent it into a small loop. I repeated that for the other side. I made sure the ends of the wire were not sharp (a file might be handy if so) and folded the end into one and one-half turns so that the end points down and slightly toward the wall of the can. I found the center of the wire and bent it upward. I had a few old snaps and placed one at the center point of the wire and bent the wire around it so it could not slide. I used a carabiner on some of the other buckets I made.
Step 3: Finish
I filled the bucket about 3/4 full of water and snapped it onto the wall of the crate so that it was at just the right height that a dog could drink from it but not trip over it. You don't want the water to spill, obviously. I used this model for weeks with no difficulty. I didn't rust because the inside of the can is lined to prevent corrosion. It worked beautifully and cost nothing. I saved it for another day. You never know what might happen in canine rescue!
Step 4: Epilogue
The dogs had come to us as a largely unsocialized litter. They were intact and loaded with hookworms. We got them veterinary care so that they were spayed/neutered and healthy very quickly. Interacting with our dogs and us made them less fearful and improved their social skills. They were each adopted out to wonderful families.
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